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Featured Artist: Gerald Garcia

Congratulations Gerald for completing the Draw 365 Challenge, which for this Leap Year, is the Draw 366 Challenge! I've seen many start the challenge, but few actually take it to the end of a year.

Gerald Garcia is an amazing artist with a lot of energy. Anyone who completes the Draw 365 Challenge can't be called lazy. Even more amazing is the fact that he has a full time job and a family, so to complete his goal, he had to find time to draw around all that. You might think that he had to keep his daily drawings simple but he didn't. His sketches are full of characters, backgrounds and plenty of action. I guess what I'm saying is, he didn't take any short cuts. We hope you enjoy getting to know Gerald better!

First off, I’ve been watching your 366 challenge with awe as you crank out amazing art day after day, what possessed you to do such a huge challenge?

I like taking personal challenges. It is like a contract or a promise to me, to complete something, to learn and grow my creative journey in life. I’ve taken on the 24 Hour Comic Challenge, Comic Jams and Inktober. 366 Days had to be the next step.

All the daily drawings I’ve seen are full of detail and action. It doesn’t look like you’re taking any short-cuts. How do you stay motivated to keep it going and to not skimp on the work?

 The panoramic, detailed drawings do get more attention, but I do little figure and light studies, letting the ink and brush, and imagination explore the paper. 

Motivation comes when I get a drawing tool to the page, but there are days when I’m not completely happy with the work and I do a few pages.

Skimping does not apply. A sketch is a sketch.

Have there been days that you haven’t felt like drawing and so you make it up a day or two later?

 Yes, falling behind did happen. Life and time constraints do happen and there were days I was posting things minutes before midnight. For a majority of the drawings they were done on the same days, I stuck with that “daily” rule as close as I could.

How has owning a Sketch Wallet helped you with your sketch goals?

I started the challenge by working on full 8.5” by 11” pages, but they would take a couple of hours to do.

I switched to 4” by 6” index cards for a while, but they were cumbersome to organize and keep together for travel. The Sketch Wallet is transportable, convenient, and I have all the drawings collected in volumes.

With 2016 behind us, what has this challenge done for you now that it’s over?

The challenge has shown me, that I can get a lot done in a little time and working smaller can help “the big picture”. The best thing is to learn something from every drawing, and use it for the next one, building one step at a time, gaining experience and confidence in your skills.

Any advice to others who may be considering doing a 365 challenge?

Keep it simple and manageable, draw what you enjoy drawing, mix up your drawing tools, try different things and draw whenever time allows.

I know you make money from your art, do you do that full time or on the side?

I do art on the side, making it full time would be preferred. 

Have you always drawn or was there a time when you became interested?

Drawing came naturally. A pencil and piece of paper is easy to find in my house and imagination is free. I will draw as long as I am able.

What people or events  influenced your pursuit of art and illustration?

I grew up in the Philippines, and when I was very young we had an Artist for a neighbor. He painted billboards for a living. He painted one for a tourist attraction: the MAYON VOLCANO. I remember being mesmerized seeing paint building on that surface and seeing it completed by the highway.

Who was supportive and who was opposed to your pursuing art?

My family and friends have always been supportive of my work, but in some ways I have chosen to limit my growth, career wise. Raising a family as an Artist is the ultimate challenge for me, so the supplement of a regular monthly paycheque from a regular job gives me financial security. My job affords me the time to go to conventions and share my work.

Your illustrations are full of action, peril, danger, and edginess. The ink seems to vibrate off the page. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a piece of yours that had any peace or tranquillity, does your personality reflect that or are you the opposite of your art? Where does that energy come from?

Funny thing is that drawing gives me peace and tranquility.

The energy comes from imagination, sometimes growing organically on paper, sparked with ink finding its own direction.

The action, danger, and peril keeps me engaged to the drawing, better if communicated to the viewer.

Do you have any routines when you draw, such as listening to music, or having the tv on, etc?

For this challenge, and most days, I draw in Sketch Wallet on the bus to work, on the lunch room table or at the library. The patio table on a sunny day, and the Livingroom couch in front of the TV, listening to music on the headphones as I draw.

When and where do you get the most work done?

The living room couch, after the kids go to bed, or before they wake up. 

I see a lot of work in ink and some in digital. What do you like about each?

With ink, it’s the variety of lines and effects I can make with a brush, seeing how light define the shadows on subjects and objects. Simple and direct, each line is a commitment.

Digital gives me more tools and effects, but less convenient for travel. I still like to draw on paper.

What projects are you working on now?

A comic book using characters I’ve been drawing on this challenge.

If you didn’t have to worry about money or time, what project would you do?

It would be the same comic book with more time and less guilt.

What advice would you give artists that want to “level up” their art?

Draw every day in any sketchbook. Try different tools. Discover new artists. Expand your imagination.

Show and share your work with other people and listen to artist veterans when you have the opportunity.

Never pass up a time to draw, and keep drawing when the energy flows. 

Thanks for taking the time to do this interview, where can people find your art?

Facebook and Instagram. 




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